Katrin Garfoot (UniSA) claimed the sprint jersey on the final stage of the 2018 Santos Women's Tour, a consolation prize for missing out on overall race victory. Garfoot pulled on the race leader’s jersey on stage 2, having won the first-ever uphill finish, only to lose it to Amanda Spratt a day later when Mitchelton Scott unleashed a flurry of attacks.
The stage 4 criterium offered only a remote chance of reclaiming the jersey, with Garfoot and her UniSA-Australia team instead setting their eye on a different prize, the green sprint jersey.
"We thought let's see what happens in the first sprint then see if Nettie [Edmondson] is actually going for it and then just try and get the sprint jersey," Garfoot told Cyclingnews of the team plan for the stage.
With Spratt holding the sprint jersey and stage 1 winner Annette Edmondson (Wiggle High5) a danger to pick up points in the sprint finish, it was not going to be a walk in the park.
The world championship silver medallist was on a mission from the start, taking out the first sprint, four laps into the 20-lap circuit, a clear signal of her intentions.
"I couldn't really see Nettie going for it in the first one so then we thought let’s keep on hunting the jersey and line it up for every intermediate sprint and it worked out well."
Chasing the second sprint meant Garfoot was at the front and avoided going down in the crash behind her. With the second sprint in the bag she following that up with the third and fourth to seal the jersey.
With the Australian time trial title, a stage win, third overall and the sprint jersey here, Garfoot continues a busy few months of racing in Australia, which she hopes will culminate at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
"I will definitely be at Cadel's [Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race] and Herald Sun Tour and then hopefully Commonwealth Games,” she said.
The 2018 Oceania Road Championships in Tasmania in March is another likely date on the calendar. Garfoot, a former winner of both the time trial and road race, will be looking to fine-tune her form, as she aims to improve on the bronze medal she won four years ago at the Commonwealth Games.